LGAQ conference brings common issues to fore
LAST week, councils from across the state gathered at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre for the Local Government Association of Queensland’s (LGAQ) 121st annual conference.
The conference, which ran over two days, provided a platform from which councils could debate issues of importance to local communities through a series of full plenary, split plenary and workshop sessions.
Federal, state and local government members from 77 shires attended the event, along with a number of external stakeholders, industry suppliers and members of the media.
This year’s conference centred heavily around the upcoming state election, with the LGAQ board discussing their ten point election plan, which featured lobbies to increase early literacy and indigenous support in rural communities.
The council delegates also cast their votes over a series of 90 motions, put forward by local governments.
Deputy Mayor of the Balonne Shire Fiona Gaske said she had returned from the event with new knowledge and ideas for her community.
“Overall, it was a good conference and there were some very interesting speakers, including the Minister for Local Government Mark Turner, and the Minister of Education Kate Jones,” Cr Gaske said.
“There were a lot of great ideas that we can bring back, with some of the most interesting concepts coming from the panel demonstrations.
“Some communities are using geothermal power and others have fantastic library programs, there is a lot to be gained from networking.”
Murweh councillor Shaun Radnedge shared this sentiment, adding that the conference had provided him with new industry contacts.
“The best thing I got from the week was talking to the other shires about their policies, their procurement and employment, and how they run their councils in general,” Cr Radnedge said.
“I spoke to Maranoa Cr David Schefe about procurement and how we could implement it in the Murweh shire, although we are smaller.
“It was very informative. We also got to speak to key members from the Department of Transport and Main Roads about issues in our area, and on other nights we got to mix with the premier and a number of ministers. Now if we have an issue we know who to speak to.”
Maranoa councillor Geoff McMullen said the conference had bought potential solutions to long standing issues within the shire.
“This year’s conference was good, the best part as a somewhat new councillor was being able to compare notes and solutions on certain issues,” Cr McMullen said.
“There were a number of motions that will potentially benefit the Maranoa shire.
“These included doubling the Transport Development Scheme grants for main roads development and lobbying to control flying fox populations.”
COUNCILS COLLABORATE: Maranoa Regional Council’s Cameron O’Neil speaks at the LGAQ Conference in Gladstone last week.